Tegami Bachi Reverse – 9

What a truly wonderful episode to wrap up the Niche/Blue Notes Blues arc. It’s a mystery to me why this series doesn’t get more attention, on the English-language boards anyway. It’s really quite special and unique.

What I’d thought was going to be a major step forward in the Gauche storyline ended up pretty much ignoring him, instead devoting the last two episodes almost entirely to Niche’s backstory. Her sister really got the chance to shine this time – not least for the way she can manipulate her hair as a weapon. The difference in ability between she and Niche is truly enormous – she can wield her follicles as a giant bow and arrow, a piston, even a giant wrecking ball. But why? Apparently, it was her anguish at being separated from her sister after the evil Mayor (maybe he really was an ancestor and not the same guy) threw the two infants off a cliff and into the fjord. The emotional trauma caused her to grow up, while Niche stayed a little girl for 200 years.

As much as anything, the ep focused on Lag’s unique ability to touch the hearts of those around him. When Onee-san decides to kill all the humans in the cave, and then – in disgust – Niche as well, Lag shoots a pair of shindan into her. Revealing first, his own heart – through a series of artful flashbacks of his meeting and bonding with Niche. And second, Onee-san’s heart – cruelly broken at being torn apart from her only companion in a terribly lonely existence. Niche is wounded by her attacks, but Lag’s innocence wins Onee-san’s heart, and the Maka takes Niche to heal in a special lake deep in the cave. But that lake that lets humans live 1000 years? Doesn’t exist – just an excuse for the villagers to be greedy and stupid. In the end, Lag is forced to say goodbye for a while, as Niche is to stay with the Maka and her sister until she recovers (Steak, too). How will our boy fare on his own – and for how long will he have to?

Lag in Drag

Lag is a pretty unique character, if you stop and think about it. He’s truly good – he doesn’t appear to have a selfish thought in his head, and he confronts any situation with courage (and tears, of course). He’s a creature of pure empathy in a way, and that seems to have an impact on everyone he interacts with.  That, no doubt, will be what redeems Gauche in the end. In a follow-up to Onee-san’s comment that he wasn’t a human, the Maka calls him “Light” – or at least uses the word in some context to refer to Lag. We still don’t know what he is, but Lag appears to be some kind of elemental force for good – somehow connected the “Becoming Spirit” no doubt. The Maka – who has a larger role to play in protecting the world then we were originally led to believe – is going to be keeping a close eye on him.

Next week: Little Lag Riding Hood?

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